Change is inevitable and every organization, big or small, goes through it. Promotions, new hires, budget cuts, geographical expansion, and many other possibilities that are likely to happen frequently. However, the response to change and the results thereof can vary greatly from company to company and from team to team.
While you, as a leader, might be ecstatic about change or simply accustomed to it, your employees might not be as enthusiastic. If you want to create a culture that not only accepts change but also thrives on it, then you must train, introduce change gradually, and create an atmosphere of safety for your staff.
Here is how you can create a company that welcomes change and successfully reaps its benefits:
1. Inform your employees in advance
Unless the change is completely unplanned, it’s always a good idea to take your employees beforehand through the entire process of change and outlining your plan in response. This can be made easier by passing on customized plans to various department heads who then explain it to their teams. The plan should also include a detailed description of how each department will transition into the change, gradually and in phases. A sudden change would most definitely increase anxiety. Therefore, you should mitigate the element of surprise whenever possible.
2. Reduce the fear of failure
Change always brings with it the fear of failing and getting out of one’s comfort zone. The need to learn new skills and be constantly alarmed brings a tense atmosphere to any team or department. As a result, managers must instill confidence in their employees that they would not be reprimanded for failure, especially during the transition stages. You must affirm to your employees that making mistakes during times of change will only lead to an increase in learning and an improvement of processes. Don’t allow change to be an excuse for complacency or for shying away from taking risks and trying out new techniques. On the contrary, empower your employees to experiment and strategize in order to adjust and grow.
3. Have policies on hand in case of emergencies
Change can be very unpredictable, especially when it comes to external and uncontrollable factors in the market and the economy. As such, it’s advisable for your company to prepare policies and cases for any sort of conceivable situations and likely trends. There are various types of trends such as hard trends (where the change is inevitable) and soft trends (where the change may or may not happen). Keeping this in mind, you must strategize with top managers on how to handle each type of trend and disseminate information to your staff so that they know how to act in case the change does take place.
4. Protect your employee’s status
Certain change, such as downsizing or restructuring, can cause your employees to become highly wary of their position and status in the company. They might be afraid that their status is threatened, and hence might not be very productive, or speak badly about the organization behind your back. It’s best to assure your employees that they will not be affected badly by the change, and will in fact benefit from it. If, in reality, the change necessitates terminating employment or re-staffing, then you must be honest and straightforward; explain to your employees what is happening and why. This will help you avoid bad publicity or harming your employer brand.
5. Train your employees
A great way for employees to accept and thrive on change is for them to be trained on the new the skill-sets that will be required after the change. Employees are often too comfortable in their daily routine and their work is habitual. It’s a good idea to ask managers to list down the skill-sets that employees might need in the future and suggest ways to fill in the gaps through internal or external training.
6. Adjust your talent acquisition strategy
Change will often impact the human element of your business. Whether you need to hire for your newly created positions, re-fill your old ones, or simply keep a talent pipeline for your predicted changes, you must have a good talent sourcing strategy in place. At first, you should widen your horizons by accessing larger and more diversified talent databases. For example, Bayt.com empowers recruiters and hiring managers by giving them access to over 27 million CVs. You can then easily move on to the next step of segmenting your talent needs, narrowing down your prospective employees, and identifying those who will be most fitting for your current and/or future openings. An array of powerful search, filtering, sorting, and organizing tools will make that step much smoother for you.
This article originally appeared in Bayt.com. This article and all other intellectual property on Bayt.com is the property of Bayt.com. Reproduction of this article in any form is only permissible with written permission from Bayt.com.
By Mohannad Aljawamis
This article has been amended from its original source.
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